best reverse osmosis filters

Best Reverse Osmosis Filter Systems

Water is everywhere. It’s the essence of our very existence. But just how safe is it?

The average American takes in around 4 cups of water a day, not including other liquids. The question is, are you absolutely confident it’s as clean as it should be?

From dirt, dust, and unpleasant tastes, all the way to chemicals, heavy metals, and bacteria, many harmful contaminants could be residing in the water entering your home threatening yours as well as your loved ones’ health.

However, since you’re here, you’ll be pleased to know you’re right on track! Reverse osmosis systems offer one of the most reliable ways to purify your tap water for a refreshing drink.

Reverse osmosis uses scientific principles to efficiently filter out up to 95% – 99% of toxins and foreign materials floating in your water. But with such high performance, comes lots of specs and features that can be a bit overwhelming, getting in the way of picking the right system for your household.

This is where we come in! With a detailed buying guide and a list of the top RO filters, we’re here to take the confusion out of the equation and help you make the best investment possible. So let’s not waste any time and dive in!

5 Best Reverse Osmosis Filter Systems

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Last update on 2024-05-22 at 07:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Home Master TMHP-L HydroPerfection Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

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If you’re looking for a reverse osmosis filter to have your back in every situation, then the Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection should be where you stop searching. Packed with seemingly every possible major feature, the 9-stage beast is undoubtedly deserving of its soaring ratings.

The Home Master TMHP comes with a permeate pump which ups the output of the system to 75 gallons per day, all the while cutting down the amount of wasted water needed to flush the membrane to only 1 gallon for every gallon of treated water.

This system also carries a UV filter to get rid of 98% of biological contaminants such as viruses and bacteria. This is such a useful feature to have if your water is well-sourced due to the high levels of microorganisms pollution. Note that this UV filter requires a 110V power outlet.

Additionally, you can find a remineralization filter that, once again, adds healthy minerals back into your water and restores the alkaline PH, for a better tasting mineral water. An iron filter is also included for maximum purification.

With an upgraded faucet and a large ⅜” diameter tubing, the flow rates and speed are more than ever, allowing the clean water to reach you in no time.

All the added filters are long-lasting and super easy to change – no tools needed. The installation process is simple enough and should take around an hour for anyone with basic DIY skills. Topping things off with Home Master’s 5-year warranty, the HydroPerfection RO filter is as good as it gets.


  • 9-stage filter with innovative design
  • Faster flow rate
  • 1-gallon wastewater
  • 5-year warranty


  • Most expensive option
  • UV filter requires a 110V outlet which may not be accessible

2. APEC ESSENCE ROES-PH75 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water System

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When we talk about supreme quality, advanced features, and a decent price, the APEC Top Tier reverse osmosis water filter is bound to come up. It’s part of the highly-rated club, with tons of customers swearing by its efficient performance.

This particular model utilizes 6 steps of filtration to produce refreshing water, thanks to its additional remineralization filter which restores the deliciously healthy taste of water.

The Top Tier produces 75 gallons of purified water each day, with an average water waste of 3 gallons to give 1 gallon of clean water.

The longevity of the water filters on this unit is really impressive. Granted, the first three filters should be changed every 6 months, but the reverse osmosis membrane, as well as the carbon filter, need to be changed only once every 2 or 3 years.

The APEC ROES-PH75 comes complete with everything you need to set up and a detailed instruction manual to make the process as easy as possible.


  • Premium quality
  • Low maintenance


  • Needs more storage space compared to other RO systems

3. Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Reverse Osmosis System

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Landing in with yet another Home Master creation, the TMAFC-ERP is one of the most widely popular reverse osmosis filters, and for all the right reasons! It combines top features with amazing value in one high-quality product.

This RO system has 7 stages and is rated for almost 75 gallons of purified water per day. It comes with a non-electric permeate pump to elevate the water pressure before entering the filter, thus, increasing water production by 50% and decreasing the water waste by up to 80%. This is particularly useful if you’re concerned about efficiency, as the TMAFC-ERP wastes just about 1 gallon of water compared to an average of 2-3 gallons.

You also find a remineralization filter that reintroduced safe minerals into your water and raises the PH to be more alkaline, and so, it overcomes the bland taste of water resulting from passing the reverse osmosis filter.

Filter changes and installation is pretty straightforward and requires no special skills. The Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian RO System also bear the unmatched 5-year warranty of the brand, making it a solid choice for any user


  • Added permeate pump
  • Leak-free system
  • Remineralizing filter
  • 5-year warranty


  • Filter replacement can be tricky

4. iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System

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On the hunt for a top-notch quality filter that doesn’t put a dent in your wallet? Well, the popular iSpring RCC7 is here to cater to all your water filtering needs, with a great price while we’re at it.

The reason for the immensely positive feedback on the iSpring, and why we love it as well, is the fact that it provides an easy yet affordable way to obtain reliable reverse osmosis filtration without any fancy additional features.

It’s still, however, one of the higher capacity RO systems out there, producing 75 gallons of clean water per day using 5 stages of treatment.

What might disappoint you a bit though, are the 3 gallons of wasted water required to give 1 gallon of purified water. This is within the average range, but it can vary depending on your feed water pressure.

The iSpring RCC7 demands minimal maintenance, with a see-through first stage housing for quick filter inspection. The installation is do-it-yourself easy, making this reverse osmosis system a wonderful choice for many average users.


  • Affordable price
  • High production rate
  • Easy installation


  • May leak

5. Express Water RO5DX 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Filter

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Last but not least, we present to you the most affordable option on our list. The Express Water RO5DX is the way to go if you want very good results for a modest price.

With this model, you get 5 steps of filtration, ridding you of up to 99% of dirt, odor, chemicals, and microorganisms. It’s made of 100% lead and BPA-free materials and includes an extra set of replacement filters, an emergency leak stop detector, along with a basic 1-year limited warranty.

The Express Water RO5DX produces 50 gallons of purified water per day, with a ratio of 3:1 wastewater to clean water.

The filter changing process is far from complicated, but you’ll have to do it more often compared to several other systems. However, filters won’t cost you much especially in bulk quantities.


  • Very affordable
  • Efficient filtering
  • Detailed instructions


  • Short warranty

What Is A Reverse Osmosis Filtering System?

Also referred to as an “RO” system, Reverse Osmosis is a method used to purify water by passing it through a semipermeable membrane to remove almost all impurities.

What makes RO systems special, is the fact that it’s able to remove very fine particles either dissolved or suspended in the water, something that other water filtering systems fail to achieve. This means that reverse osmosis filters ultimately offer better water quality.

The Science Behind Reverse Osmosis

If you want to understand how reverse osmosis filter systems work, you’ll first need to understand the main concepts of osmosis.

Osmosis is a naturally occurring process where the concentration of particles in water is brought to equal values by utilizing a semipermeable protein membrane. When water passes through the membrane, the concentration of dissolved particles on either side of the membrane becomes equal.

To make things simpler, let’s say you have two containers: one has fresh water, and the other has a saline solution. If both containers are connected through a pipe but separated by a semipermeable membrane, the freshwater will migrate towards the saline container.

This happens because the semipermeable membrane allows water molecules to pass through as solutions have a natural tendency of traveling from areas of low concentration to areas of high concentration until an equilibrium state is reached.

The semipermeable membrane permits only small particles such as water molecules to bypass its barrier, however, it prevents larger molecules including minerals, salts, and bacteria from flowing through.

Reverse osmosis basically follows the same idea, except in reverse. Instead of allowing the shift of low concentrated solution towards the higher concentrated one, external pressure is applied to the concentrated solution, forcing it through the membrane to the lesser concentrated one.

The membrane blocks out molecules of bigger size, so you get clean water out of the other side, free from microorganisms, salts as well as most contaminants.

What Are The Stages of Reverse Osmosis Systems?

Typically, a reverse osmosis system will consist of at least 5 filtration steps, some even go as many as 10 stages of additional purification which are optional. As water travels through each level, a different kind of treatment is applied before it advances on to the next step to finally come out of the faucet ready for consumption.

Regardless of how many steps an RO system offers, there are 5 stages you’ll usually find repeated in all brands. Sure, they might have different names, but they all do the same thing. Here’s a brief explanation of the major purifying steps:

1. Sediment Filter

This is the first pretreatment step water goes through. It’s where larger particles like clay, stones, rust, calcium carbonate, and silt are removed from the water. Such sediments will negatively affect the taste and appearance of your water.

By removing these contaminants, the sediment filter also serves to protect the following filters from being damaged. Most manufacturers use a 5-micron filter for this stage, so any particles larger than 5 microns will remain blocked out.

Note that the sediment filter requires the most frequent replacement because it’s the initial filter to come in contact with the water, regular changing should be done every 6 months or so.

2. Carbon Filter

The water then passes through a carbon filter. It’s used to remove harmful chemicals from water such as chlorine, oils, and organic substances which change the taste of water and cause the degradation of the thin membrane of the reverse osmosis filter.

The oils can easily plug the reverse osmosis membrane while chlorine eats away the pores on the membrane, resulting in a higher flow rate which allows more contaminants to pass into the stream. The carbon filter should be replaced once a year with regular use.

3. Reverse Osmosis Membrane

The most crucial part of the filtration system is, of course, the reverse osmosis membrane. This is where water has to pass through the membrane, which blocks out the majority of contaminants.

The RO membrane is capable of removing the smallest particles according to their weight, size, and ionic charge. Any molecule larger than 0.0001 microns or has a molecular weight of more than 200 is filtered out of the water. This includes inorganic compounds such as fluoride, lead, arsenic, and copper, as well as radioactive components.

RO membrane also significantly reduces impurities called Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) which refers to inorganic salts such as sodium, calcium, and magnesium.

4. Remineralizing Filter

After water travels through the reverse osmosis filter, it becomes highly pure yet slightly acidic and lacking some healthy minerals. A remineralizing filter reintroduces these minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, which also helps restore the PH balance and improves the taste.

5. Storage tank

Here, water is stored after it bypasses the major filtration steps. Reaching this point in most systems, water is ready to be used out of the tap.

6. Optional UV Filter

Adding a UV filter is a great way to remove biological contaminants as it destroys microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. UV rays penetrate pathogens causing their destruction.

7. Optional Color Changing Resin Deionization Filter

After passing through the reverse osmosis filter, water usually carries residual amounts of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). The Color Changing Resin Deionization filter removes the remaining TDS.

8. Final Carbon Filter

This one is considered a polishing filter because it removes any unpleasant tastes and odors that may be lurking in your water or have been picked up from the storage tank.

What to Consider When You’re Buying A Reverse Osmosis Filter System

It’s no secret that reverse osmosis systems offer excellent water purification, however, they also come with hefty prices. Since it’s safe to say that you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on a random filter that lets you down two months in, here are some points to look at before making a purchase:

Source of Water

Generally, there are two types of water sources; well water and city water.

In the countryside or suburban areas, water usually comes from private wells which means that it’s not pretreated before it reaches your house. Such water has high levels of contamination from harmful chemicals to toxic microorganisms, so you’ll be needing a reverse osmosis system with a UV filter.

On the other hand, water in urban regions reaches you after it gets purified in a water treatment plant, consequently, it’ll contain less contamination. For homes in cities, an entry-level of reverse osmosis filters should be enough for safe water consumption.

Water Pressure

You need adequate water pressure to push the feed water through the membrane and filter out the pollutants. Most urban households provide the minimum water pressure requirement of 40 PSI (pounds per square inch). However, if your source water lacks such pressure, you’ll need an RO system with a booster pump.

Water Flow Rate

The water flow rate of your system determines how much water you’ll be getting. This flow rate depends on various factors such as water pressure and temperature.

You should be aware that the actual production rate (GPD – gallons per day) maybe 60% to 80% of the declared system GPD rating as the optimum conditions for similar outputs are difficult to mimic.

For common households, a 59 GPD-rated system should be enough, but a family of 8 members or more will need an RO system with at least a 90-100 GPD rating.


What you need to consider here, are the two types of cost: the initial cost as well as the maintenance cost.

The initial cost begins and ends with the purchase of the reverse osmosis filter system itself, while the maintenance cost involves how much you’ll pay for replacing filters and faulty parts. Therefore, the more you need to change the filters, the more money you’re going to spend.

Wrap Up

To me, reliability is important when it comes to making large purchases. If I’m going to spend my money on a reverse osmosis filter system, I need to make absolutely sure I’ll be getting pure water for many years to come. This is why my vote goes to the Home Master TMHP HydroPerfect Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System. Not only is it highly dependable, but it’s also backed up by 5 years of warranty.

However, the price point can be a bit too much for those on a budget, in which case, I’d strongly recommend the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System, as it offers great filtration at a decent cost.


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